SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert has directed the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Utah Department of Commerce, to file a new rule to ban conversion therapy for minors in Utah.

The new rule was announced in a press release from the Governor’s Office late Tuesday evening.

The rule uses language from H.B. 399, presented by Rep. Craig Hall during the 2019 General Legislative Session, and will apply to all licensed therapists practicing in Utah. 

The governor says this rule is backed by a wide variety of public leaders, organizations, and policy groups and represents an agreement to “end the harmful practice of conversion therapy on minors.”

“We are pleased that the new rule will mirror the legislation that was drafted and introduced earlier this year. We have no doubt the adoption of this rule will send a life-saving message to LGBTQ+ youth across our state,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah.

This latest development puts an end to the dispute surrounding the technical language of the proposed regulation.

“I am grateful we have developed language that both prohibits conversion therapy and also protects the legitimate interests of healthcare professionals, patients and families,” said Rep. Craig Hall. “I urge adoption of the proposed rule so we can end conversion therapy once and for all in this state.”

DOPL is working to file the rule, which will be published on Dec. 15. The 30-day public comment period will end on Jan. 14, 2020. The new rule could be effective as early as Jan. 22, 2020.